Meridiam closes first deal in Spain

The Paris-based fund manager has reached commercial close on its debut investment in the country. The 30-year concession for the design, construction, financing and operation of 40km of the A334 freeway sees the firm team with Acciona and Cintra/Ferrovial.

Meridiam, the Paris-based fund manager focused on Europe and North America, has reached commercial close for a 30-year concession in partnership with the Andalusian government relating to the A334 freeway in Almeria.

The concession includes the design, construction, financing and operation of 40 kilometres (km) of freeway connecting the industrial zone of Olula-Macael with the A7 highway. Improved access to the industrial zone is seen as important because it is a key driver of growth for Almeria province. A statement from Meridiam said the concession involves an investment of €150 million.

The project, which was awarded to the consortium led by Meridiam in January, also includes Spanish industrial partners Acciona and Cintra/Ferrovial while local contractors Detea, Felipe Castellanos and Montealto have what the statement describes as “minor shareholdings” in the concessionaire.

The project will develop a new highway connection between the Andalusian town of Purchena and the A7 freeway in the vicinity of Huercal-Overa, another Andalusian town. The statement says that 22km of the section is already under construction and that the design and construction of the remaining 18km will last until the end of 2015.

Launched in 2006, Meridiam specialises in long-term project funding and management in Europe and North America and has around €2.4 billion under management.

Towards the end of last year, Meridiam closed two deals: a design, build, construct, finance and maintain contract for a 53km stretch of highway running from Koskenkyla to Kotka in southern Finland; and the Nottingham Express Transit Phase Two (NET 2) project, involving the construction of new tram lines in the English city.